Take it from an allergy sufferer, it’s no fun sniffling through the summer months. Any change in the weather can bring about itchy eyes, a running nose and constant sneezes.
Bad weather, high humidity and dry air can also set off asthma.
So, what can you do to lower your risk of an allergy or asthma attack? Know your triggers and learn how to avoid them.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) has five suggestions for coping.
• Summer fruits and veggies. You may have oral allergy syndrome if your lips begin to tingle after sinking your teeth into a juicy peach or melon, apple, celery or other fresh fruits and vegetables. People with common grass allergies can suffer from this condition, which is a cross-reaction between similar proteins in certain fruits and vegetables and the allergy-causing grass, tree or weed pollens. The simple solution is to avoid the offending food, or just put up with the annoying, but short-lived (and seldom dangerous) reaction.
• Changes in the weather. Be it stifling humidity or a refreshing cool breeze, sudden changes in the weather can trigger an asthma attack. Wind can spread pollen and stir up mold, affecting those who suffer from grass or tree pollen and mold allergies. Heading to an air-conditioned environment can provide some relief.
• Campfire smoke. Toasting marshmallows or sitting out at a bonfire isn’t much fun if it results in an asthma attack. Smoke is a common asthma trigger. Sit upwind of the smoke and avoid getting too close to help prevent an asthma flair-up.
• Stinging insects. It is possible to develop a life-threatening allergic reaction to the sting of yellow jackets, honey bees, wasps, hornets and fire ants. Cover up when gardening or working outdoors, avoid brightly colored clothing, forget the perfume and take caution when eating or drinking anything sweet, all of which attract stinging insects.
• Chlorine. Although not an allergen, the smell of chlorine from pools or hot tubs can be an irritant and cause flair ups of either allergy-like eye and nose symptoms or asthma in some people. If you’re sensitive, be sure to shower after you come in contact with chlorine.
Seasonal allergy sufferers can lead a normal, healthy life by working with an allergist to find relief and then determine the most effective treatment. Check with your health insurance plan to see what services are covered.